clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

60-Year-Old Valley Staple Henry’s Tacos Has Closed Out of Nowhere

Did a lease dispute force out one of LA’s oldest taquerias with only five days’ notice?

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Removed signage and empty storefront of a closed taco shop.
The closed Henry’s Tacos window in Studio City.
Farley Elliott
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Valley Mexican food staple Henry’s Tacos seems to have vanished almost overnight, leaving lots of questions in Studio City. The decades-old destination for hard-shelled tacos — often considered to be a friendly competitor to Westside option Tito’s Tacos — closed its service window in the past few days with scant notice to longtime customers and fans of the decades-old destination.

Over the weekend, diners hoping to stop by for a taco were instead greeted with a single-page notice taped to the window, purportedly from the landlord Betty Joseph-Dearth and dated March 28, which read:

Gilberto Vega,

This is your five (5) day notice that your month-to-month tenancy at 4389 Tujunga Ave., Studio City, CA 91604 is terminated.

Your 3-year option to renew ended February 28, 2021 and your tenancy became month-to-month. You gave me no written notice 90 days prior to the expiration of the initial term of the option that you wanted a new lease.

The COVID-19 moratorium in Los Angeles has ended.

You have until April 3, 2022 to remove your personal items and vacate the premises.

That paperwork has since been removed. The window now holds a single handwritten note that reads simply LEASED. Signage, and the restaurant’s menu board, have also been removed. Eater called a phone number listed to Betty Joseph-Dearth in Studio City but received no response.

As it currently stands, Henry’s Tacos has disappeared completely from its longtime Tujunga Avenue corner, leaving a large hole in the greater San Fernando Valley’s historic taco scene. There is no word on where or when, if ever, the 60-year-old restaurant will return. Ownership posted an update to social media after publication of today’s story.

This is not the first time, however, that Henry’s has suddenly faced a chance of scenery. Back in 2013, the restaurant was removed from its original corner location, pushed up the block after that landlord decided to lease the space instead to Cactus Taqueria. Henry’s did manage to reopen relatively soon afterward, albeit from a mostly takeout-only location some 200 feet away.

The COVID-19 related eviction moratorium did indeed end for commercial tenants on February 1, 2022, leaving many businesses to pay back unpaid rent and loans (federal or otherwise) while continuing to navigate rising overhead and food costs, worker shortages, and other ongoing issues. It’s unclear who may have taken over the Tujunga Avenue space from Henry’s Tacos.

Got more information on the situation with Henry’s Tacos in Studio City? Feel free to hit the Eater tipline.

Henry's Tacos

4389 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604 (818) 769-0343